Most of us are born with the automotive enthusiast gene. Many of us pursue the passion of all things automotive. We somehow find work related to the automotive industry, and our car worship spills over into our playtime. For those who haven't had the car gene nurtured while growing up, the passion lies dormant, waiting for the opportunity to be cared for and cultivated.
Such was the case with a young man from Altoona, Iowa. Adam McRoberts made it all the way to his teen years before the gene kicked in, although his father Kevin taught him at an early age that cars and trucks are cool. Adam resisted idolizing the four-wheeled masterpieces, like many of us are apt to do, but that changed about six years ago. He met a girl-Elizabeth Lesher. Her dad Ted owns an automotive garage in Des Moines, Iowa, appropriately named Ted's Body Shop. A year before Elizabeth and Adam met, Ted had built and sold a yellow '48 Chevy he'd named Buck.
Upon seeing photos of the smooth, low, custom classic pickup, Adam's automotive gene not only awoke, it went straight into Overdrive. After a couple years of gathering components-a solid '48 Chevy truck frame and two donor '48 pickups-Adam and Ted were ready to build a clone of the truck named Buck. Here's where good karma and luck came into play. While heading back to his restaurant after lunch, Buck was parked in front of the eatery. Adam couldn't believe it.
Over a week's time, Adam found out who owned the Chevy, discovered a way to afford it, and wrestled with the notion of making such a huge purchase (the near-perfect pickup was expensive). Following the advice of Ted and Elizabeth, Adam finally did the right thing.
When Ted and his crew first built the yellow Bow Tie, they started with a '48 3/4-ton chassis. Ted and Willy Lewis replaced the Chevy's front suspension with a 4-inch narrowed '68 Nova IFS and affixed '71 Monte Carlo rotors and calipers. With a 3.00:1 final drive ratio, they installed a narrowed '77 Ford 9-inch, which also received the Monte Carlo's disc brakes. Backer Machine supplied a .030-over '76 Chevy 350ci engine, backed by a renewed TH350 trans Ted had won as a door prize at a local Iowa rod run.
The shop started with such a long frame, not to install a longbed, but rather to extend the Chevy's cab. Ted chopped the top 4 inches and lengthened the cab 12 inches before building a custom bed box. He shaved all the trim and handles and prepped his handiwork for paint. Spraying several coats of Dupont Yellow, as well as clear coats, wet-sanding between the color coats and clears, Ted achieved a paint job that still appears new.
Ted's crew wasn't done. They fabricated a center console and a custom dash, and had Jason Rains wire the truck with a Ron Francis wiring harness. Upholsterer Steve Ralf trimmed the custom cockpit in black leather.
Since acquiring Buck, the multiple-award-winning yellow '48 Chevy truck, Adam brought the pickup back to perfect in his eyes. He removed the second owner's pinstripe job and side mirrors, and has cruised and shown Buck the last 1.5 years and 8,000 miles. This tale of truck worship has a happy ending. Adam and Elizabeth are still dating, and Adam sold his restaurant and now works at Ted's Auto Body. Perhaps now you might agree that Adam's automotive enthusiast gene has kicked into Overdrive!